Official inauguration of the Bislak River dredging

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte has officially inaugurated the Bislak River Restoration Project through a ceremonial dredging at Buyon, Bacarra.

Photo courtesy of the Provincial Government

The event was highlighted by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the government and the project’s official contractor, Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc.

The dredging project aims to prevent widespread flooding in low-lying areas and create more local opportunities by extracting sands from the heavily silted waterways in the towns of Vintar and Bacarra.

During the ceremony, Geronimo P. Bella, Jr., President of Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. expressed his optimism for the project, stating, “Let us embrace the Bislak River dredging project as a symbol of progress, unity, and responsible environmental management. Together, we can ensure that the Bislak River continues to flow as a lifeline for our community, sustaining us for years to come.”

The dredging contractor is tasked with restoring the natural flow of the Bislak River in accordance with several regulatory documents including, the Joint Memorandum Circular 2019-01, DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2020-07 titled “Rationalizing Dredging Activities in Heavily-Silted River Channels”.

Moreover, Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc. provided nearly P3 million in livelihood assistance to over 30 barangays surrounding the Bislak River in Ilocos Norte. Under the revenue-sharing agreement, 40% of the allocation will benefit the affected barangays, while 30% is earmarked for the municipalities of Bacarra and Vintar, and the provincial government.